After two blatant cheap shots against the USC Trojans, Notre Dame defensive lineman Jerry Tillery has apologized for acting “out of character” in their loss to the Trojans.
In the first incident, Tillery pushed the head of USC running back Aca’Cedric Ware with his leg while the player was already down with what appeared to be a head injury. Then, he Ndamukong Suh’d the ankle of Trojan offensive lineman Zach Banner as he lay injured as well.
To call the instances displays of “unsportsmanlike” conduct would be an understatement.
Both players were defenseless at the time of Tillery’s actions, and while some acts of aggression can be explained away by the heat of the moment, this was a wanton disregard for their well-being. Tillery received an earful from coach Brian Kelly, who has promised to hold his standout lineman responsible for his actions.
An easy stance to take; offering the illusion of punitive action without any of the inconvenience it would actually bring. Notre Dame isn’t headed to a bowl game this season and Saturday’s game was their last of the season.
To compound the matter, reports have surfaced that indicate the ND/Kelly relationship could be nearing its final stanza.
Tillery issued an apology in light of the events:
Surely Tillery feels badly for what he did and perhaps this was the result of a season’s worth of frustration. Notre Dame was supposed to be a team capable of competing for a College Football Playoff spot this season. Instead, they lost twice as much as they won and looked disjointed the entire season.
Regardless of the reason, he is lucky not to have ended someones career or cause them serious bodily injury. Football is brutal, but only between the whistles.